Mount Holyoke News

November 13, 1986

Letters to the editor in response.

To the Editor:

I would like to respond to the article entitled "Feminism: Once It United Us, Now It Divides Us" in the November 6 issue of the Mount Holyoke News. Ms. Drummey's title is promising; feminism is indeed an issue which creates tension between women. Unfortunately, her title is not discussed or justified in her article. It has been said that the MH News should be used to spark debate and discussion among otherwise apathetic students. This is an encouraging sign of the eagerness of students to share their views. It is not going to be addressed, however, by space-wasting, disorganized, and aimless articles such as this one. I understand that several students remarks were misrepresented in the article. I am afraid of the consequences of the author's misquotation of a student who mentioned her fears of expressing nonfeminist views in her Women's Studies class. Most often the student who prefaces her remarks with, "I know you'll hate me for saying this," will find someone thanking her for saying it, either during or after the class. Women's Studies courses are for us to talk about our experiences, backgrounds and beliefs. The courses would be worthless without argument and varying points of view. I would love to try to comment on the quotation, "To me, lesbianism explains it all." Explains WHAT??!! Alas, this claim defies any attempt at analysis or logic. This point is never explained, and it distorts the views of lesbians everywhere, which are as varied as the views of women as a group.

I deeply resent the "lesbians/feminists as manhaters" tone of this entire article. As a lesbian and a feminist, I speak for myself and many similar women who do not hate men but who do love women -- a rare and dangerous thing to do in our culture.

There are many other points in the article which would indeed spark debate and discussion among students had these points been articulately dealt with and not so glibly jotted down to fill the page. Unfortunately, this article provoked only explosive frustration and anger among the students who read it.

Mary Warren Bartlett '87

To the Editor:

The responsibility of a newspaper reporter is to portray a subject to her audience, to draw a complete picture instead of part of a whole. It should be a realistic illustration rather than an abstraction of what the reporter wants to get across. In the Features section of the Nov. 6 issue of The Mount Holyoke News, there was an article which did not accurately cover the issue of feminism on this campus.

The article, entitled "Feminism: once it united us, now it divides us," contained quotes taken from a voluntary but informal interviewing situation. The context in which these quotes were used in the article misrepresented our views. What we said in the interview was adapted later to fit the article's needs. Generally, we are questioning the validity of any article appearing in the paper using paraphrasing and quoting of a small number of people - an article that supposedly represents the general student body. This article misrepresented our views and probably the views of this campus as a whole. The Mount Holyoke News is being irresponsible to its campus when it publishes articles that are so poorly research.

In the future, we would appreciate it if the News would take more care in the interviewing process and more responsibility in reporting of articles designed to represent our diverse campus.

Susanna Bonnta '88
Renee M. Sentilles '88

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